Before programming on WKCR began, Latin Music was only found on commercial radio stations in NYC, and even those played older music and romantic ballads. In 1971, WKCR introduced Salsa to the airwaves and nothing was the same.

The Mambo Machine show gave the rich sounds of Salsa the attention they so deserved. Salsa Greats such as Machito, Tito Puente, Ray Barretto, Willie Colón, Eddie Palmieri, Charlie Palmieri, and others, have all shared their wisdom to WKCR Latin listeners through interviews and phone-ins. New shows popped up in the department during the 80s and 90s and brought new perspectives to the table.

With the onset of commercial, Spanish-language stations, many grassroots and non-industry artists and styles of music remain out of sight from regular consumption. And though the rise of Spanish stations in NYC is commendable, there exists a need for a new voice in the city.

That is where you can find WKCR. We still give a lot of love to Salsa, Bachata, Merengue and Reggetón, but we incorporate many more facets and timeframes of Latin America, from the past until the present. Blending Samba de Roda from Brazil with Honduran Punta and sprinkling in Cumbia from Northern Mexico, our aim is to create one story of cohesion and individuality among many people. As an established leader in Latin music broadcasting, we maintain the same tradition of respect and appreciation that has been passed along to each new generation of programmers. Our aim is to serve the community in which we belong.